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sbs 2011 - roaming users - shall we use redirected folder or can we use roaming profiles

Posted on 2013-06-20
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sbs 2011 - roaming users - shall we use redirected folder or can we use roaming profiles -

Please advise with comments and comparisons of the 2? We have 1 new SBS 2011 server with 32gb RAM - 15 local users - - 45 remote users to the terminal server

Some of the local users also work remotely so will work on both local and terminal server etc.

Some local pcs are XP and some are Windows 7 pro -

the terminal server is also new running windows 2008r2 -

Please advice to best practice etc
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Question by:phoenix81
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 39264069
The two technologies are separate and have different considerations. They *fundamentally* use different approaches and thus should not be considered interchangable. They are, however, complementary and thus can be used together. There is no simple answer here.

Roaming Profiles:

Uses a "sync" style technology. Changes are pulled down and then pushed back up. This can increase login times and can create file version conflicts if users log into multiple devices simultaneously.

Registry data is captured and can roam.

Users have an experience where more of their settings "follow" them and thus can be an easier transition.

Roaming profiles are *not* compatible across some OS versions. Most notably between 2003/XP and earlier compared to 2008/Vista and later.

Impacts network bandwidth usage during login and logout.


Redirected Folders:

Limited in which folders can be redirected. But more compatible with mismatched OSes compared to roaming profiles.

Folders are (as the name implies) redirected, *not* synced. Reducing login times.

Registry settings are *not* shared among multiple devices.

Documents, desktop files and icons, and other files that are redirected will follow a user, but very few personal settings. If an application uses the appdata folder, those settings can be redirected. But the experience is inconsistent.

Increases network usage during regular use, thus lower network scalability.

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As I mentioned they can be combined. So you can implement roaming profiles for the better user experience *and* folder redirection to reduce login times and reduce the risk of file-level sync conflicts. However network usage is higher at both login *and* during use, making network scalability an important consideration.

Each of the three approaches has pluses and minuses as outlined above, but it all comes down to the user experience, the risk management of the helpdesk, and the capacity of the network, servers, and devices being used.

-Cliff
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Author Closing Comment

by:phoenix81
ID: 39385501
thank you we used folder redirection for our clients scenario to cut down on network traffic thank you
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